By Prithvi Deore, USC Price MPL, Transportation, 2018
The 25th Future Leaders Development Conference was held from June 4 to June 8, 2017 at the Eno Center’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Three students from the Pacific Southwest Region (PSR) University Transportation Center schools were selected to attend: Anne Brown and Cat Callaghan from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Karina Hermawan from University of California, Irvine (UCI).
2017 Eno LDC students Tour Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Photo by Eno
It is difficult to imagine a life without transportation, and hard to argue with those who find transportation to be one of the most important component of the fabric of a city. Mobility and accessibility drive not just movement of people but also the development of a metropolis. The Eno Center for Transportation (Eno) understands the significance of transportation and has "the mission of cultivating creative and visionary leadership for the sector." They achieve this by "supporting activities in three areas: professional development programs, policy forums, and publications."
One initiative is the Eno Future Leaders Development Conference (LDC). The LDC is an annual event where 20 outstanding graduate students are selected from around the country to participate in a week-long conference on transportation trends. It is an opportunity to learn about latest development in the sector by attending multiple events, workshops, presentations, and more. The speakers come from federal government, state departments, local level transportation departments, as well as private firms, and the presentation subjects cut across all modes of transportation. This broadens the horizon for the students as they get to learn more about the development of national transportation policies.
Anne Brown is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA, and received the GAR Foundation Award at the conference. GAR Foundation describes this award as recognizing “exceptional academic achievement and leadership qualities evidenced by a student’s involvement in community volunteer organizations."
"I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the Eno Future Leaders Development Conference this year to dialogue and engage with some of the nation's most prominent transportation leaders," Brown shared. She found the conference to be "a stimulating and rewarding week of discussion that both highlighted the behind-the-scenes processes in state, regional, and national transportation policy making, (that) inspired me, as a future researcher, to think about how I can best leverage research into policy action."
Professor Martin Wachs praised Brown as a researcher. "She recently advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. at UCLA and is on track toward a career as a professor. She received top ratings teaching the ‘math camp’ for incoming Masters students and has accumulated numerous fellowships and awards as recognition of her outstanding scholarly mind, self-discipline, writing skills, and outgoing personality. It has been a pleasure to work with Anne and we were not at all surprised that she was selected for the Eno Leadership Development program and was given GAR Foundation Award reserved for the most outstanding participants."
Attendee Cat Callaghan completed her Master in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) at UCLA. She was the Diane Woodend Jones Award Designee at the conference. The award "honors a WTS member who is a recent graduate, shows high career potential, and has a history of professional service." Professor Wachs congratulated Callaghan on the achievement. He admired her strong visualization skills and deep understanding of transportation design and planning. He said, "With a background in architecture and design, she is unusually skillful at translating her thoughts into powerful visual images – from GIS maps to sketches and flowcharts. She is particularly interested in the design of streets for transit, pedestrians, and cyclists as well as autos and the Eno Leadership Development Program—which emphasizes policy implementation in complex political environments—was a rewarding experience that will help her further these interests."
Attendee Karina Hermawan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Transportation Science at UCI. She was presented the Rodney Slater Award, awarded to a student who shows "outstanding leadership qualities amidst life’s challenges and adversity, a thirst for knowledge, and a drive to achieve." She explained the importance of the conference. "LDC exposed us to all aspects of transportation from land, air to sea and with planning, engineering and policy lenses. It was interesting to see how all of that connects to advocacy and policy and could not be more fitting as it was set in Washington D.C. The airport tour, hearing from inspirational leaders in transportation, and meeting other fellows were the best!" she added. Her advisor, Professor Amelia Regan, participated in the same program when she was a graduate student. "It is an honor to be part of the Eno Fellowship Program and follow in her footsteps," said Hermawan.
METRANS is proud of the students and congratulates them for their great achievement. We look forward for their contribution to the transportation sector in the coming years.
About the Author
Prithvi Deore is a second year Master of Planning student at USC’s Price School of Public Policy. She is interested in active transportation and public transit. She loves to do extensive GIS mapping and spatial analysis. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.